Theft is the most common crime on college campuses. Laptop and other portable electronic devices are easy targets. In addition to the cost of replacement, they often have personal information and data that can be difficult or impossible to recover and protect. 

Losing a cell phone, tablet or laptop can happen in an instant but could have critical impact to the university. 

Safety Tips

  • Use a STOP tag. Members of the WashU community can contact WUPD to have their computers marked with a STOP tag.​
  • Don’t leave your property unattended. Don’t assume that any common area is a secure area. Take your device with you. 
  • Secure your property. Keep doors and windows to dorms or apartments locked at all times. Lock laptops in a drawer or cabinet in your office or dorm. Even in a locked vehicle, never leave a laptop in plain sight. Use your laptop’s Universal Security Slot (USS) to attach a cable lock and secure it to a stationary, unbreakable object.
  • Protect your data. Do not leave sensitive data on your computer (e.g. Social Security Numbers, student information, personal phone numbers, or credit card numbers). Back up critical files frequently. The cost of not doing this can be very high.
  • Lock it up! Use Kensington computer cable locks to secure laptops.  

What To Do If You’re a Victim

If you’ve lost your laptop, tablet or cell phone or if one has been stolen, contact:

  • on Danforth Campus, call WUPD at (314) 935-5555;
  • on the Medical Campus, call Washington University School of Medicine Protective Services at 314-362-4357
  • then contact the Information Security Office at or 314-747-2955.